DAY 1 | Evening
Take a historical walk along the trails at American Camp and learn about the Pig War. If the kids are in tow, pick up a Junior Ranger Activity Book at the ranger station for them to fill out along the way. Enjoy the splendid vistas over one of the last remaining native prairies in the Puget Sound region and relish in the last rays of sun near the Cattle Point Lighthouse. Or - Make your way over to the lighthouse at Lime Kiln Point State Park and take advantage of a free tour courtesy of Friends of Lime Kiln during the summer months. After, snuggle up in a blanket on one of the benches or a rock and watch the sky turn brilliant colors as the sun sets over the Haro Strait.
DAY 2 | Morning & Afternoon
Start the morning in Friday Harbor at the San Juan County Historical Museum. Located on the once expansive James King farmstead, the museum is an eight building complex comprised of original farmhouse, carriage house, stone root cellar, milk house, as well as the first jail in San Juan County. Head to the north end of the island to Roche Harbor and inquire about its history as a company town which produced Lime in the 1800's. See the remains of an early limekiln then make the short walk to the McMillin Memorial Mausoleum for a setting that is beautiful and steeped in history and myth. If you're on the island towards the end of July, visit English Camp where the National Park Service puts on the annual Encampment at English Camp. Re-enactors from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada come to take part in this fun, family-friendly event.
DAY 2 | Evening
While in English Camp, amble through the Officer's Formal Gardens and hike the trails for a picturesque view. Time it right to catch a gorgeous sunset. If you'd like to delve deeper into the history of the area, the National Park Service has a historic walk to follow - just ask one of the rangers for a tour pamphlet.
Historic Activity List
- Walk the trails of history at American Camp and learn about the Pig War. Before the Civil War, George Pickett was the commander of Camp Pickett at American Camp.
- Visit the San Juan County Historical Museum in Friday Harbor. Located on the once expansive James King farmstead, the museum is an eight building complex comprised of original farmhouse, carriage house, stone root cellar, milk house, as well as the first jail in San Juan County.
- Purchase or use your smart phone to view the Historic Friday Harbor On Foot book and follow the tour at your own pace while learning about Friday Harbor's past.
- Discover the 1892 Community Church over looking the San Juan Valley.
- Visit Roche Harbor and inquire about its history as a company town which produced Lime in the mid 1880's. The corporation was run by John S. McMillin. His remains are at the Mausoleum, just a short hike from Roche Harbor. The setting is beautiful and steeped in history and myth. For Theodore Roosevelt history fans, find his signature on the Roche Harbor Hotel Guest Book. Pick up the book Images of America Roche Harbor by Richard Walker for a more detailed history.
- Tour the Officers Formal Gardens at English Camp, and hike the trails for a great view. The National park service has a historic walk to follow. Ask one of the Rangers for one of the tour pamphlets.
- Check out the San Juan Island National Park Service web site to see what tours and programs they may have during your visit.
- Find Deadman Bay and learn the history behind the name.
- Visit the lighthouses at Lime Kiln Point State Park and Cattle Point. There is a $10.00 parking fee at the Lime Kiln Point State Park for an all day pass. The Friends of Lime Kiln offer free tours of the light house on a seasonal bases.
- The Friday Harbor Veterans Museum showcases an extensive and unique collection of military memorabilia from San Juan Island Veterans. The displays are arranged chronologically starting with the Civil War and progressing to the current conflicts. Open Friday - Sunday 10am to 2pm (Summer).
- Each year in May, the Town of Friday Harbor helps tell the story of the people and places of the San Juans by celebrating National Historic Preservation Month. Guided walking tours, local history talks and other special events are held throughout the month.
- Towards the end of July the National Parks on San Juan Island put on the annual encampment at the English Camp parade ground. Re-enactors from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada come to take part in this fun event.
- The annual Memorial Day Parade and ceremony is both an authentic small town parade and a worthy tribute to the sacrifices made by Americans both past and present.